On top of the world at The Horn, Mount Buffalo
There is nothing quite like the feeling that you are standing on top of the world. Atop The Horn, at Mount Buffalo, with its sweeping 360 degree views of the Australian Alps and plateaus, it feels just like that. It is an exhilarating sensation to swivel and view the magnificent Mount Buffalo National Park spread out before you.
At 1,723 metres elevation, The Horn is the highest point in the Mount Buffalo National Park, on the western side of the Victorian Alps. It is a striking granite peak not unlike the horn of a buffalo, the animal whose name was given by explorers Hume and Hovell to describe this spectacular mountainous range of rocky outcrops and alpine vegetation, which descends into an expansive plateau.
Aboriginal people lived in this area for many thousands of years, moving to the mountain during the summer months to enjoy its cooler climate, to gather for ceremonies and to feast on Bogong moths. These moths migrated here in large numbers during summer to find refuge from the heat by nestling in the rock crevices.
The first recorded climb by Europeans up The Horn was by botanists Ferdinand von Mueller and John Dallachy, in 1853. The Bright Alpine Club, formed in 1887, recommended The Horn in its 1890 guidebook as a sight not to be missed. Since then, the popularity of this magnificent spot has continued to grow so that now it is a key attraction of the park.
The main access road to The Horn is reached from Porepunkah. The park is around 320km from Melbourne, or approximately a four hour drive, heading north via the Hume Highway and Bright.
To reach The Horn summit you can park your car in The Horn Picnic Area, which has tables to enjoy your lunch. The nearest toilets are at Cathedral Saddle down the road. From the picnic area, it is a short but steep walk up The Horn Track to reach the lookout where you can enjoy the most superb views. The return journey on foot takes less than an hour, however, once you reach the Horn, you will be so captivated by the view that you may want to stay for a while!
With campsites available at Mount Buffalo from November to April, and other accommodation options in picturesque towns nearby, why rush home?
There are lots of other activities to enjoy in Mount Buffalo National Park. It is the ultimate all-seasons outdoor adventure park, with hang gliding, kayaking, swimming, cycling and rock climbing all on offer, as well as more than 90kms of walking tracks to explore.
However, nothing can beat the sheer simplicity of walking up The Horn and seeing the world laid out before you. The Horn has the wow factor that will make you feel invincible. Coming once will not be enough.